Saturday, August 30, 2008


Goodness, where have these last few days gone? Now that I have just two and a half days off work away from home, I have to be efficient in using the time I do have at home.
At this time of the year there is always gardening work to be accomplished, harvesting vegetables, trimming, and splitting perennials to be planted elsewhere, and dead heading in the flower garden.
Yesterday my honey and I drove up the island to Oak Harbor to do a little grocery shopping and enjoy lunch before driving home, with a stop at a friend's home, to get a big box and plastic sack full of bearded iris, to plant in my garden. Once the groceries had been put away, and iris had been planted, in a new garden spot I had to create, the day was pretty much over and I had run out of steam.
On my next day off, this Sunday, there is still laundry to do, a little housework calling my name, and in between these chores I want to get out into the flower garden to dig up some of the plants I have decided to move to a new spot in the garden, as they are not doing as well as they should where the are at the moment.
Now, don't get me wrong, I am not complaining about all I have to do, just would like more hours in the day, and days in the week to get everything accomplished before running out of steam. I really must learn to quit before I become exhausted, but I hate to stop when a job is almost finished. I have to admit to myself, I am not as young as I think I am, and should listen to my body when it starts to protest.
You all have a wonderful labor day weekend, and watch out for all the crazy people out there on the roads.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


There's a little nip in the air this morning, about 57 degrees according to the thermometer. As I wandered the vegetable garden this morning, large fat green tomatoes weighed down the vines and it crossed my mind that unless we get some nice hot days, those tomatoes are going to remain green. The kohlrabi are getting nice and plump, in fact there is one to harvest right now, which I will get to, after work tonight. There are beans and peas which also need to be picked, and a little fish fertilizer to water on some of the other vegetables. I am very pleased with my first efforts in raising vegetables the only downside is the late start in summer which may mean some of the vegetable will not mature. Next year MrC. is going to build me a greenhouse, I can hardly wait for it to be constructed so I can see what I can produce from a sheltered environment.
As I sit here at my PC I have my own little zoo right outside the window. There are blue jays, nuthatches, finches, sparrows, and chickadees at the bird feeder and four rabbits and Towhees underneath enjoying all the seed dropped from above. Nailed to the willow tree a few feet from the bird feeder, is a feeder for the squirrels I made from a gallon milk jug. I thought if I had a feeder just for these little guys, they would leave the bird feeders alone, and by golly, my plan has worked. Right now I can see just the tail of the smallest squirrel hanging out of the opening of the squirrel feeder, as he enjoys his breakfast from inside.
The sun has just reached the Camellia bush outside the den window, and the topsides of the leaves being kissed by the early morning sun, look as though they have been given a covering of gold leaf.
What a shame I have to work today, as I would rather spend my time outdoors playing in the garden. Soon it is going to be too cold for outdoor activities so I am spending all my free time getting the yard in shape. I spent three weekends cleaning out the carport as it was a 'catchall' for everything we were not using or brought home from yard sales etc. There was room just for our small Honda and I wanted both our cars to fit in there. I am sure there are some of you out there with the same problem, due to all my efforts we now have a clean junk free carport. Yesterday as I arrived home from Costco, with a car full of groceries etc. It was a pleasure to drive under the shelter of carport out of the rain to unload the car. Ahhhh! life is good.
Time has run out for blogging so I must get ready for my day of work, which is really a pleasure now I have a new job as a caregiver, There are many rewards, each and every day, as I visit my clients.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


The Center for Disease Control has issued a medical alert about a highly contagious, potentially dangerous virus that is transmitted orally, by hand, and even electronically.

This virus is called Weary Overload Recreational Killer (WORK). If you receive WORK from your boss, any of your colleagues or anyone else via any means whatsoever - DO NOT TOUCH IT. This virus will wipe out your private life completely.

If you should come into contact with WORK you should immediately leave the premises. Take two good friends to the nearest grocery store and purchase one or both of the antidotes - Work Isolating Neutralizer Extract (WINE) and Bothersome Employer Elimination Rebooter (BEER). Take the antidote repeatedly until WORK has been completely eliminated from your system.

You should immediately forward this medical alert to five friends. If you do not have five friends, you have already been infected and WORK is controlling your life.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Information Please

When I was quite young, my father had one of the first telephones in our neighborhood. I remember the polished, old case fastened to the wall. The shiny receiver hung on the side of the box. I was too little to reach the telephone, but used to listen with fascination when my mother talked to it.

Then I discovered that somewhere inside the wonderful device lived an amazing person. Her name was 'Information Please' and there was nothing she did not know. Information Please could supply anyone's number and the correct time.

My personal experience with the genie-in-a-bottle came one day while my Mother was visiting a neighbor. Amusing myself at the tool bench in the basement, I whacked my finger with a hammer, the pain was terrible, but there seemed no point in crying because there was no one home to give sympathy.

I walked around the house sucking my throbbing finger, finally arriving at the stairway. The telephone! Quickly, I ran for the footstool in the Parlor and dragged it to the landing climbing up; I unhooked the receiver in the parlor and held it to my ear.

'Information, please,' I said into the mouthpiece just above my head. A click or two and a small clear voice spoke into my ear. 'Information.'

'I hurt my finger,' I wailed into the phone, the tears came readily enough now that I had an audience.

'Isn't your mother home?' came the question.

'Nobody's home but me,' I blubbered.

'Are you bleeding?' the voice asked.

'No,' I replied. 'I hit my finger with the hammer and it hurts.'

'Can you open the icebox?' she asked.

I said I could.

'Then chip off a little bit of ice and hold it to your finger,' said the voice.

After that, I called 'Information Please' for everything. I asked her for help with my geography, and she told me where Philadelphia was. She helped me with my math. She told me my pet chipmunk that I had caught in the park just the day before, would eat fruit and nuts.

Then, there was the time Petey, our pet canary, died. I called, Information Please,' and told her the sad story. She listened, and then said things grown-ups say to soothe a child. But I was not consoled. I asked her, 'Why is it that birds should sing so beautifully and bring Joy to all families, only to end up as a heap of feathers on the bottom of a cage?'

She must have sensed my deep concern, for she said quietly, ' Wayne, always remember that there are other worlds to sing in.' Somehow I felt better.

Another day I was on the telephone, 'Information Please.'

'Information,' said in the now familiar voice.

'How do I spell fix?' I asked.

All this took place in a small town in the Pacific Northwest . When I was nine years old, we moved across the country to Boston . I missed my friend very much. 'Information Please' belonged in that old wooden box back home and I somehow never thought of trying the shiny new phone that sat on the table in the hall. As I grew into my teens, the memories of those childhood conversations never really left me.

Often, in moments of doubt and perplexity I would recall the serene sense of security I had then. I appreciated now how patient, understanding, and kind she was to have spent her time on a little boy.

A few years later, on my way west to college, my plane put down in Seattle I had about a half-hour or so between planes. I spent 15 minutes or so on the phone with my sister, who lived there now. Then without thinking what I was doing, I dialed my hometown Operator and said, 'Information Please.'

Miraculously, I heard the small, clear voice I knew so well. 'Information'

I hadn't planned this, but I heard myself saying, 'Could you please tell me how to spell fix?'

There was a long pause. Then came the soft spoken answer, 'I guess your finger must have healed by now.'

I laughed, 'So it's really you,' I said. 'I wonder if you have any idea how much you meant to me during that time?'

I wonder,' she said, 'if you know how much your call m eant to me. I never had any children and I used to look forward to your calls.'

I told her how often I had thought of her over the years and I asked if I could call her again when I came back to visit my sister.

'Please do,' she said. 'Just ask for Sally.'

Three months later I was back in Seattle a different voice answered: Information.' I asked for Sally.

'Are you a friend?' she said.

'Yes, a very old friend,' I answered.

'I'm sorry to have to tell you this,' she said. 'Sally had been working part-time the last few years because she was sick. She died five weeks ago.'

Before I could hang up she said, 'Wait a minute, did you say your name was Wayne ?

'Yes.' I answered.

'Well, Sally left a message for you. She wrote it down in case you called. Let me read it to you.' The note said, 'Tell him there are other worlds to sing in. He'll know what I mean.'

I thanked her and hung up. I knew what Sally meant.

Never underestimate the impression you may make on others.

Whose life have you touched today?

Life is a journey ... NOT a guided tour. So don't miss the ride and have a great time going around. You don't get a second shot at it.

Monday, August 18, 2008


I was surprised to see the Pohutukawa trees which were growing along one side of the parking lot where we parked our rental vehicle at the Hilton, during our visit to Valencia CA.
Pohutukawa trees grow along coastal regions in New Zealand where I grew up, so the sight of these lovely trees with their striking blooms, made me think of my homeland.

The range where the 2008 Steel Challenge was held, is out near Lake Piru. As you can see from the photo, the area is very dry, and the dust covered everything, including shooters and everyone else.
Temperatures were very warm, and if you were not used to living with this kind of heat, then it was rather uncomfortable. I was happy to leave the range at the end of each days events, and get back to our air conditioned hotel room, for a nice long shower.

MrC was in squad 4, and I must say, they are the nicest bunch of people. There were 8 stages to shoot starting with "outer limits' which is not the most favorite of some of the shooters. The other stages were, Pendulum, Roundabout, Showdown, 5 To Go, Speed Option, Smoke & Hope, and Accelerator.

RO, (range officer) Gene, AKA "Gunny" timing Scott as he shoots "5 To Go"

Gunny runs a "tight ship" when it comes to how he wants the rules adhered to concerning this event he was running. He is a "no nonsense" kind of guy and by golly you had better listen and mind what he says. All this said, he has a great sense of humor, and under all that gruffness, there is marshmallow.

Matt knocking some paint off the steel plates.

Jeffrey, showin' smoke
as he shoots the "Smoke & Hope" stage.

Flora, the only woman in squad 4

Flora is taking her first step towards the second box, of the two, you have to shoot from in "outer limits". This stage takes some serious concentration as there are several things you have to be paying attention to, to have a successful run.

Don (below) and Dale (right) both starting out towards the second box in "outer limits" to finish the run. The setup is, 5 steel plates, one of which is a "stop plate"
so you shoot 2 plates from one box, move across to the other box, shoot two more steel plates ending with the stop plate. If you accidentally shoot the stop plate before the other four, then you are "toast" I have made this mistake before, and from then on paid a lot more attention to what I was doing.

Mike P shooting "outer Limits"

Bryan (right) making the plates ring.

David (left) deep in concentration.

My Honey MrC doing his thing.
MrC's gun, a High Standard with a 12 inch Volquartsen barrel, and his unusual grip, brought quite a few comments. One of the most common comments I hear when people first see his gun is, "what the h--l is that?"
I am so proud of my honey, he placed 24th out of 55 shooters in his class, and they were the best in world he was up against.

As we left the range after another long hot day, we noticed a number of cattle under the trees, enjoying the shade, except for "old Bossie" Guess she does not mind the heat.

A quick photo of Magic mountain as we drove by.

I am not a fan of roller coasters. Never been on one and don't want to.

We had a wonderful time in California at the World Steel Challenge and look forward to next year.

This, in a comment on Keewee's Corner, from Flora "Already looking forward to next year and please promise me you'll shoot! We ladies will have a blast"

Yes Flora I will be there. I do have many hours of practice ahead before then.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


We just arrived home a short time ago and we are bushed. Stay tuned for more on our visit to Valencia and Lake Piru CA. I may have something for you to read tomorrow afternoon/evening.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Second day from Valencia

Yesterday I was MrC's support team/person for his day of competition shooting. As for his performance, he did extremely well and I am very proud of him. The results have not been posted yet, but one thing I can report, is that, he shot far better than last year.
This being my second year as a spectator and not a shooter, I am more familiar with the events, so perhaps I will participate next year.
There was some amazing shooting, with some of it being covered by the local TV stations.
The day was very long and uncomfortably hot. We were glad to get back to the hotel to shower all the dust and stickiness off, then collapse onto the bed to cool off in the breeze from the air conditioner. We were too tired to go out and eat, so we ate a cinnimon roll we had bought in a package from the bakery at local grocery store yesterday.
After breakfast today we are going out to the range, to watch the center fire shooters (we shot rimfire yesterday)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


We left home at 7am this morning and had an uneventful trip to out hotel here in Valencia.
It was nice to check into our room, and turn on the air conditioner, as it is quite warm and humid outdoors, which is not we are used to on Whidbey Island.
In a little while we are driving out to the range, so MrC can get in a little practice before he shoots in the Rimfire event, in The World Steel Challenge Championships tomorrow. Then we will go to Marie Callender's for a nice dinner.
That is it for now, stay tuned for updates.

Monday, August 11, 2008


These last couple of weeks have been a busy time for us. On Wednesday morning we catch the shuttle which will take us to Sea tac to catch our flight to Burbank. We will pick up our rental car then drive to Valencia, about half an hour, where we check into our hotel for a four days stay.
MrC and I were there last year about this time to shoot in the World Steel Champion Match, that is, MrC shoots in this one, I find it all rather overwhelming being around "the best in the word" and elect not to shoot.
I sure hope the weather is not as warm as it was last year. I do not do well when the temperatures are 100+ F.
Keewee's Garden has been planted with some vegetables for fall/winter harvest, and the watering system I recently installed, works perfectly. It sure saves time standing around with a hose in hand, doing the job manually.
Today, after I arrive home from work, I need to focus on getting the clothes I plan on packing, organized. I will have to take several outfits to change into, as being out in that heat all day, I get all hot and sticky and clean fresh clothes are a must. Beside it feels so good to have a nice long shower, then put on dry clean clothes after we return from a day at the range.

I hope to do a little posting on our adventures from Valencia, but I am not promising this will happen.

Friday, August 08, 2008


A fawn followed this beagle home -- right through the doggie door -- in the Bittinger area.
The owner came home to find the visitor had made himself right at home.


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

What kind of nut are you

Little Old Me from A New Day, A New Way Of Life, has a fun little survey asking what kind of nut are you? Apparently I am a Cashew!!!

You Are a Cashew

You are laid back, friendly, and easy going.

Compared to most people, you have a very mild temperament.

You blend in well. You're often the last person to get noticed.

But whenever you're gone, people seem to notice right away!

Sunday, August 03, 2008


As if I didn't have enough to do already.
I was so taken with the lovely dried flowers, a friend had embellishing her photo albums, that I just had to try this project for myself, especially when I discovered how easy and inexpensive, it was to make the press.

With the help of MrC, ( well truth be known, he did most of the construction) I now have the flower press made, and the first four layers of flowers and a couple of ferns pressed between cardboard and a moisture wicking paper. Next Sunday I will undo the wing nuts and reveal the dried flowers.
I have not yet decided how I will use the dried flowers, ferns and leaves, but I will have a collection which should keep me amused during the cold days of winter.
When at the thrift store the other day, I found a plastic case which used to hold a child's set of art supplies, and I thought it would be just the thing to store the flowers in layers between parchment paper, until I use them.
They tell me that you should have plenty of hobbies when you retire, so this can be my "getting the feeling of retirement, practice." *grin*

Friday, August 01, 2008

This is too true to be very funny.

The next time you hear a politician use the word 'billion' in a casual manner, think about whether you want the 'politicians' spending YOUR tax money.

A billion is a difficult number to comprehend, but one advertising agency did a good job of putting that figure into some perspective in one of its releases.

A billion seconds ago it was 1959.
A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.
A billion hours ago our ancestors were Living in the Stone Age.
A billion days ago no-one walked on the earth on two feet.
A billion dollars ago was only 8 hours and 20 minutes, at the rate our government is spending it.

While this thought is still fresh in our brain, let's take a look at New Orleans. It's amazing what you can learn with some simple division.

Louisiana Senator, Mary Landrieu, is presently asking the Congress for $250 BILLION to rebuild New Orleans. Interesting number, what does it mean?

Well, if you are one of 484,674 residents of New Orleans (every man, woman, child), you each get $516,528.
Or, if you have one of the 188,251 homes in New Orleans, your home gets $1,329,787.
Or, if you are a family of four, your family gets $2,066,012.
Washington, D.C., Ottawa, Canada.... HELLO!!! ... Are all your calculators broken??

Tax his land,
Tax his wage,
Tax his bed in which he lays.

Tax his tractor,
Tax his mule,
Teach him taxes is the rule.

Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.

Tax his ties,
Tax his shirts,

Tax his work,
Tax his dirt.

Tax his tobacco,
Tax his drink,
Tax him if he tries to think.

Tax his booze,
Tax his beers,

If he cries,
Tax his tears.

Tax his bills,
Tax his gas,
Tax his notes,
Tax his cash.

Tax him good and let him know
That after taxes, he has no dough.

If he hollers, Tax him more,
Tax him until he's good and sore.

Tax his coffin, Tax his grave,
Tax the sod in which he lays.

Put these words upon his tomb,
'Taxes drove me to my doom!'

And when he's gone, We won't relax,
We'll still be after the inheritance TAX!!


No taxes existed 100 years ago.

We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world,
and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.

What happened? Can you spell 'politicians!'

And I still have to 'press 1' for English.

What the hell happened???